One of the more recent debates that I have been reading a lot about is the process vs. product debate, and what way is more useful to students. The weird part about the debate is that the two cannot really be separated, you can’t suddenly have a product with absolutely no process. In a product-oriented approach, the teacher teaches to the curriculum which is usually heavily influenced by standardized teasing, AP testing, whatever testing. The english teacher who abides by this is the one who is constantly emphasizing form, grammar, content, the entire way. The problem they found though is that students become discouraged, they may not know grammar, they don’t think that they are good writers. So they hate writing. A process-oriented approach places emphasis on content first, then through revisions the rest becomes worked through. It’s main function is to build up confidence in the student, so that they can sit down and not hate to write. The problem with that though, is that they found these students had poor grammar skills since they were not stressed throughout their writing careers.
So for me, what it comes down, is this. The two cannot exist without each other, so a middle ground must be found. Standardized testing is also not going anywhere anytime soon, so its importance cannot be forgotten either. I believe that students and the younger generations LOVE to write, look at all this social networking, its TONS and TONS of writing. Granted it is about themselves a lot of the time, but they are writing and they want to be heard. What teachers need to do is build up the process, they need to give their students the pen badge of courage and get them writing, and then use what they are writing about to form into a more “acceptable” product. I think that students who can trust their teacher with such a personal act, and also believe that when they sit down to write an assignment that they have something to say, are less likely to cause you grief as a teacher. And that is the goal of classroom management.
This is a blog with some interesting in site on the whole deal